Pel­i­can cross­ing for school zone

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

Lo­cal author­i­ties hope a new pedes­trian cross­ing in the Dampier High­way school zone ad­ja­cent to Kar­ratha Se­nior High School will im­prove safety for stu­dents and driv­ers.

A pel­i­can cross­ing will re­place the wig­wag warn­ing lights within the school zone at the in­ter­sec­tion of Dampier High­way and Broad­hurst Road, de­signed to help stu­dents cross the high­way dur­ing school hours.

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said he hoped the new cross­ing, which has been the re­sult of a suc­cess­ful ap­pli­ca­tion for fund­ing from the Main Roads Black Spot pro­gram, would re­duce the con­fu­sion that had ex­isted around the wig­wag cross­ing lights for some time.

“The cur­rent wig­wag lights have proven to be con­fus­ing for both pedes­tri­ans and driv­ers,” he said.

“The new pel­i­can cross­ing lights will be a pedes­trian-con­trolled cross­ing, mean­ing that the pedes­trian presses a but­ton to stop the traf­fic ... so as to be able to safely cross the road.”

“This will be much clearer and should en­sure that stu­dents can cross the road safely.” The pel­i­can cross­ing is due to be in­stalled in De­cem­ber, in time for the 2017 school year.

Wig­wag lights on the high­way pre­cede the school zone’s es­tab­lish­ment on the other­wise 70km/h main road, which was in­tro­duced in Fe­bru­ary this year after years of safety con­cerns for stu­dents cross­ing to get to the Kar­ratha Se­nior High School cam­pus.

A Main Roads spokesman said the depart­ment had re­ceived pos­i­tive feed­back about the Dampier High­way school zone and boosted sig­nage for driv­ers since it was in­tro­duced.

How­ever, he said wig­wag cross­ings were only ef­fec­tive along with a cross­ing war­den to con­trol traf­fic, a po­si­tion which had not been able to be filled in Kar­ratha.

The spokesman said Kar­ratha road users did not know what to do at the cur­rent wig­wag cross­ing.

“A wig­wag cross­ing is purely a warn­ing de­vice and due to it be­ing the first one in the area, road users have had some con­fu­sion,” he said.

“This will be the first re­gional pedes­trian (pel­i­can) cross­ing that will have a count­down timer to as­sist pedes­tri­ans.

“It’s a for­mal con­trol de­vice so when a pedes­trian presses the but­ton the traf­fic will be stopped on a red sig­nal, which elim­i­nates the need for a cross­ing at­ten­dant.”

The spokesman said the area did not tech­ni­cally need to be a school zone but it was a mea­sure Main Roads had im­ple­mented to slow down ve­hi­cles.

He said sig­nage in the area was al­ready “ex­ces­sive” and adding more would be a vis­ual dis­trac­tion for driv­ers.

“Ad­di­tional sig­nage will not change driver be­hav­iour,” he said.

“En­force­ment by po­lice and a change in com­mu­nity be­hav­iour will be needed to ad­dress these con­cerns.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.